Finland – the world’s best place for data

The new submarine data cable between Finland and Germany provides unparalleled connectivity to global networks and digital markets.

Finland being a premier, if not the premium, location for data-intensive operations may be one of the best-kept secrets in the world of data centre operators.

Its reputation as a cost-efficient, secure and well-connected location for datacenters has grown due to the completion of the high-capacity submarine cable between Helsinki and Rostock in January 2016 by the Cinia Group, a Finland-headquartered provider of connectivity and transmission services.

Consisting of eight optical fibre pairs, each with a bandwidth of 18 terabytes per second (Tbps), the cable not only provides a low-latency route to digital markets of Central Europe but also enhances Finland’s position as a gateway between the East and the West.

The cable has been cited as one of the foremost reasons why Equinix, an American operator of interconnected data centres, and Hetzner Online, a German provider of web-hosting services, have chosen to locate their datacenters and grow their business in Finland.

Equinix announced earlier this autumn that it will supplement its six data centres in Greater Helsinki by launching the Equinix Internet Exchange in Helsinki early 2017. 

“With a record-breaking capacity of 144Tbps and round-trip rate of less than 20 milliseconds between Helsinki and Frankfurt, Equinix customers will be able to take advantage of enhanced international capacity, network latency and performance,” Equinix announced in their press release issued in September, 2016.

Hetzner Online, in turn, described its participation in the construction of the cable system as the cornerstone for its decision to build a datacenter in Tuusula, Southern Finland.

Finland stood out amongst the other countries for several compelling reasons. “The country’s ideal climate, its proximity to the Eastern European web-hosting market, and its location as a geographic intersection of Eastern and Western Europe.” Martin Hetzner, the founder and CEO of Hetzner Online explained.

Both also acknowledge the significance of Finland’s reliable energy transmission infrastructure and highly competitive energy prices.

Datacentre operators are able to halve their energy costs by locating their facilities in Finland instead of Central Europe, for example. The cool climate is a contributing factor, as are the reduced energy tax rates levied on data centres since 2014.

 Co-operation with a local energy company can yield additional benefits. 

Yandex, the operator of the largest search engine in Russia, has found a way to generate revenues from the thermal energy created in its data centre in Mäntsälä, Southern Finland – by collecting and selling it to the local energy and district heating company, Nivos. 

The thermal energy supplied by Yandex is enough to provide heating to 5,000 households.